This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

5 Bad Deals For Consumers To Avoid

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Consumers' confidence and sentiment are down, and who can blame them? Even when they try to be frugal, someone's getting them to splurge.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index was down 4.7 points last month, while the Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index inspired celebration by falling 0.7 points instead of 2.3 points. Spending is actually up slightly, as the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy expanded 3.7% last month, but consumer expectations are down as job numbers stagnate and housing numbers slump.

It's a time when Americans are trying to be more stingy -- with the Commerce Department noting that Americans saved 5.9% of their disposable income in the second quarter -- but finding it increasingly difficult to do so amid poor package deals and overblown promises. Retail sales edged up 0.4% in August, but exactly how much of that gain did Americans really want to spend?

Across several sectors, the consumer is getting a raw deal. From "bargains" that include a lot of throw-ins they didn't ask for to "rewards programs" that don't yield many rewards, the consumer faces a retail and service culture where blue-shirted guys in large towers spend their days deciding what the customer wants and values before discarding that information and going with what works in their or their company's best interest. That's business, but that's also how garages, attics and storage units fill with useless crap and wallets fill with cards scarcely worth the plastic they're stamped on. We at TheStreet have put together a list of "deals" to avoid not just because they're bad decisions, but because they're bad investments:

Stock quotes in this article: AAI, LUV, WMT, TGT, VZ, CMCSA 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs